This one is made of STEEL


Fueled up, the featherweight Popcycle is ready for a day of cruising almost anywhere. Only exceptions are certain high-speed superhighways. Below: rear-axle arrangement with engine removed. Bike generator, shown on swivel mount, rides on engine pulley to supply electricity for lights. Main frame tubing is from auto propeller shaft.

WENTY-FIVE pounds of used auto and bike parts bought at a salvage yard for 7 cents a pound ($1.75 total) make up the frame of my Popcycle scooter. You can easily build one like it, if you have access to welding equipment and a lathe. My rig is powered by a three-horse Briggs & Stratton mill, but any lightweight engine will do. A four-cycle job is best for easy starting, smooth running at low speeds, and the convenience of not having to mix gasoline and oil. Avoid a heavy, cast-iron model. Its off-center weight makes balancing and steering difficult. And be sure to use pneumatic-tired wheels with precision ball or roller bearings, unless you whip up a junior scooter for speeds below 15 m.p.h. Tire diameter is optional; I settled for 11", but the integral half-forks and axles can be modified for larger sizes. Another option is the drive. Unless you live where the hills are steep, a low-cost hookup with good dig-out characteristics involves no more than a V-Plex clutch, a heavy-duty neoprene V belt, and pulley. Besides accelerating better than a chain-drive

You Can Build
This one is made of WOOD
O WELDING rig in your shop? You can still build your own transportation, as I did, using simple hand tools, wood, and readily available hardware. Most of the scooter frame is made of 1-3/4-square oak and l-3/4"x3/4" oak. You'll need 28' of the former, 34' of the latter. Following the layout plan on the next page, saw out the members. Make only one each of parts 7, 16, and 19; four of 9, 12. 15 and 17; two each of the others. Bore holes as indicated (unless specially noted, the diameter is 5/16"). Omit the intermediate holes in two of parts 17 and 9. Assemble the frame with 5/16" carriage bolts. Form the seat parts as shown. After tacking down the canvas, glue the covered pad in place. Cut out and screw footboard 18 to parts 1. Glue maple dowels in the ends of handlebar part 19. Slip steel tubes over these, cementing the left one to the dowel with epoxy glue. The one on the right is worked to a free fit for a twist throttle (note setup in plan). Run the cable through the footboard slot behind part 8. From 3/4"-diameter coldCONTINUED


Road-tested for 300 fun miles, this wood scooter is a curbside conversation piece and a rugged, dependable performer. It climbs still liills briskly, cranks out half a mile a minute on the Hat. It's licensed, but its builder cautions: "Save your bills of sale for the engine, wheels, and clutch. Some states require them before they will issue a license.

rolled steel, cut a 27" steering column, an 8" front axle, and an 18" rear axle. Insert the top of the column in the handlebar hole and drill through it for a bolt (see drawing). Slip a collar on the column and work the shaft through the hole in 16. Where it passes through 7, apply a bushing, followed by steel and rubber washers. Oakfork parts 20 and 21 are assembled with epoxy glue and threaded rods and nuts. The drive is through a centrifugal clutch —your choice of a chain or belt connection to the rear wheel. A drawing shows the braking. If you use pulley wheels instead of slim sprockets for the drive, you may have to recess the inboard axle collar on the left into frame part 1 to give clearance for drum and hangers. Finally, strap the headlight battery to 13. Named Pioneer, the wood scooter tips the beam at 120 pounds, carries twice its weight in riders. A special servicing note: Snug up the carriage bolts after you've rolled tip the first 50 miles.

"Ape-hanger" handlebars qualify you to ride with the wild ones—but for transport in a car or boat, you may prefer the conventional butterfly

clutch, the alignment between engine and driven pulley is not as critical. For mountain climbing, however, use a kart clutch, sprockets, and chain. A 1:6 reduction ratio is fine. The assembly and detail drawings show the adaptation of junked parts to the scooter frame. Both the front-fork and rear-axle assembly are made from 3/4" auto sway-bar stock, which must be heated cherry red and straightened, then slowly cooled, before machining and shaping. To reharden, the completed parts are reheated salmon red and quenched in oil. Let a pro do this. To meet the licensing demands of my state, I've equipped my scooter with a bicycle headlight, tail and stop lights, a bulbtype horn, and a rear-view mirror. Juice for the lights is supplied by a generator set driven by the engine pulley. That way, there's no blackout while I'm idling at an

type. Slim contour of Popcycle is eye-catching. Both the front and the rear wheels are mounted on integral axles and half-forks. intersection. The stoplight—a 2" Delta tail lamp—is actuated by a brake-pedal-mounted switch made from a set of discarded Ford breaker points (see detail drawing). I have also placed a 4" truck-type reflector on the Popcycle's posterior. END

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